Hindsight

First came the recession. Now come the books about the roots of the recession.

1 of 3
BACKNEXT
The long view
The long view

This Time is Different
By Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff
Princeton University Press, 463 pp., $35

Financial crises are hard to predict, but once one occurs, it's easy to guess what happens next: Housing prices plummet, unemployment rises, the economy shrinks -- and bookstores get hit with a tsunami of new volumes about the mess.

The Great Recession took most of us by surprise, yet as Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff point out in their important new book, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, red flags were popping up all over. They included soaring asset prices, absurd debt levels, huge trade deficits and slowing economic growth -- "virtually all the signs of a country on the verge of a financial crisis."

Unlike prior narrative accounts of market panics from such finance writers as Charles Kindleberger and Edward Chancellor, Reinhart and Rogoff give us a data-driven study that is global in sweep but also a model of clarity. The authors package their notably nonhysterical analysis of the latest crisis in a large, self-contained section of the book, inviting harried readers to skip right ahead to it.

By Daniel Akst

NEXT: A close-up on the meltdown
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
LAST UPDATE: Dec 07 2009 | 2:35 PM ET
More Galleries
8 must-have travel apps Whether you've got wanderlust or an airline grievance, here are some apps to pack onto your phone. More
Secrets to success from Smalltown USA Utah State professor Michael Glauser cycled 4,000 miles this summer, visiting 100 entrepreneurs across the country. Here's a snapshot of how they grew their businesses. More
Commuting is getting easier. Here's why The MobiPrize, conducted by SMART at the University of Michigan, recognizes innovation in global transportation. From microcars to auto rickshaws, these six startups are some of the standouts. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.